Article

Foundations for the Far West: Paleoindian Cultures on the Western Fringe of North America

Jon Erlandson and Todd J. Braje

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195380118
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195380118.013.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Foundations for the Far West: Paleoindian Cultures on the Western Fringe of North America

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This article discusses the implications of recent research along the Pacific Coast of North America—which has pushed the antiquity of maritime adaptations in Canada, the United States, and Mexico back into the terminal Pleistocene—for understanding the origins of Paleoindian peoples in North America's Far West. It focuses primarily on technological evidence for the peopling of western North America, in the form of distinctive stemmed projectile points found in early sites around the Pacific Rim, a projectile technology quite different from the fluted points of the Clovis and Folsom traditions. Results suggest that the Pacific Coast was at the epicenter of Paleoindian origins and may link the initial colonization of the Americas to one of the most significant maritime migrations in human history.

Keywords: paleoindian cultures; Pacific Coast; North American archaeology; Far West; technological evidence; Paleoindian origins

Article.  4211 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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